Although a beneficial massage can be given by anyone from a good friend to a trained and experienced physical therapist, the administration of a therapeutic massage is an officially recognized form of medical therapy. There are benefits to be gained from massage therapy for many types of medical problems. For anyone looking for a massage therapist for medical reasons, it is a good idea to seek a certified therapist.
Benefits and Requirements
National certification in massage therapy represents the highest professional credential in the massage therapy field. Using the services of a therapist with massage therapy certification means recognition by insurance companies. There are two roads that lead to national certification in therapeutic massage and bodywork. Someone who has graduated from an established school of massage and/ or bodywork, having completed at 500 hours of formal training can apply to take the certification exam.
The training must include at least 125 hours of anatomy and physiology, 200 hours of massage and/ or bodywork theory and application, 40 hours of pathology, 10 hours of business and ethics and at least 125 hours of related coursework. If an applicant has not graduated from a school teaching massage, he or she can apply for the exam once he or she has completed at least 500 hours of training and experience that equals the training in a school. This candidate’s portfolio would be assessed before being allowed to take the exam.
The massage therapy certification exam includes at least 160 questions on general knowledge of the body systems, detailed knowledge of anatomy, physiology and muscle operation, pathology, therapeutic massage and bodywork, and professional standards. Once an applicant has obtained massage therapy certification, recertification has to be undertaken every four years to stay current. Even after earning national massage therapy certification, a licensed therapist has to fulfill the requirements of the state.
The general public may still regard massage therapists with less than an appropriate amount of respect, but a certified and licensed therapist is a true professional who has work hard to acquire the knowledge and training necessary. The benefits of using a therapist with massage therapy certification are well worth the effort to seek out the true professional. When a doctor recommends massage therapy for a health condition, you can request to be referred to someone with national massage therapy certification as well as state certification and licensing. Your feeling of confidence will be worth it.